This morning I put out my recycling, well actually my husband did. It’s his job along with the washing up, which by the way we do in a sink not in a dishwasher because it’s quicker and cheaper as well as greener.
And there are only two of us. I had separated our paper and emptied the food waste and put the plastics and bottles in their er, plastic container.
I did this for two reasons. Firstly if I didn’t my local council (Calderdale) would refuse to take my rubbish. Good for them.
Secondly it’s the right thing to do. What I don’t need are thousands of protestors lying down in the road weeping and wailing, chaining themselves to a hearse representing the death of the planet, or gluing themselves to the pavement to tell me so. We are not stupid. And they are not the only ones to take the future of our world seriously.
These protestors do not have the monopoly on fear for our children’s children’s future. So stop patronising us and start behaving. Or you are in danger of losing our respect and your voice. And it’s too important an issue to ignore. But ignore it we will if you carry on like this. Because nobody likes a bully.
Extinction Rebellion brought the capital to a standstill. They prevented ambulances from getting out of hospitals, put banners with foul language emblazoned on them outside Westminster Abbey and then rounded it all off with a McDonalds. Or at least a handful did. I presume they didn’t order a happy meal with its ridiculous plastic toy, which by the way has been banned in Burger King because of a petition by two sisters aged seven and nine without the need to bring total chaos to our major towns and cities.
In London this week the luvvies came out in force. Ruby Wax, Juliet Stevenson and Sir Mark Rylance. Bully for them? Get rid of the theatrics, talk some sense. I would not go so far as to use the Prime Minister’s language of “nose ringed crusties,” because name calling on both sides achieves nothing when it comes to solving what we all agree is a serious issue. What I do know is which generation should actually take most of the responsibility for the well documented danger facing the world and its inhabitants. And thousands of them were protesting across the world this week.
I was brought up by one of the original Eco warriors. I am sure many of you were too. We walked to school and caught the bus into town. The car was used rarely because it was too expensive to do so. We played out in our playing out clothes which were then given to the rag and bone man for a few pennies and for recycling. #
We had Sunday best and a school uniform. We wore hand me downs from cousins or brothers and sisters, because clothes were made to last and most of them made in Britain, not shipped halfway round the world. We took pop bottles back when we went to the shops with a shopping bag. Milk was delivered in glass bottles and food was wrapped in grease proof paper.
The Sunday joint was bought at the local butcher who got it from a farmer a few miles away. Not only that it made the Monday meal too and was wrapped up for sandwiches on a Tuesday.
Just a footnote to those who would ban farming to save the planet. Who do you think looks after our precious countryside? Who mends the dry stone walls or patches the hawthorn hedges? Who tends the moors and the fields which we have demanded and won the right to roam? Farmers of course, who also produce crops for those who chose not to eat meat and meat for those who do.
Our vegetables were always seasonal and tasted better for it. And they were bought individually in brown paper bags from the greengrocer on a busy high street, the same high street we are now bemoaning its demise, because we forgot to use it. We collected newspapers for the scouts and had a draw full of string and rubber bands and a tin of cotton reels for making and mending. We darned socks, even tights. We took shoes to the cobblers and broken electrical items to be mended. Not that it was just a question of money. We were brought up by parents who appreciated everything they worked hard to provide. And hated waste more.
And that is exactly how we are now being told to live by a generation which believes they have invented a way to save the planet, when in fact they are part of the reason it’s in the mess it is in.
Our parents didn’t need a younger more privileged generation who either don’t work or can afford to take a day off marching through the streets to show them that. They lived it.
We should do the same.